Let us get started with rich and tasty Restaurant Style Dal Makhani
So guys today I bring you an amazing recipe for one of the classic dishes Dal Makhani. It is probably the most sold dish in any restaurant. And is probably the only thing people order without even thinking twice. Because they know that it is worth it, every time.
Story of Dal Makhani
This dish originated before India’s freedom and has a long history. It was created by a person named Kundan Lal Jaggi. He worked at a restaurant called Moti Mahal. This restaurant is still located in Delhi and guys it is one of the historical restaurants. So please if you get a chance to visit do visit. A lot of Indian dishes that are famous throughout the globe today started from this restaurant and by Indian, I mean Punjabi food.
Again, it gained a lot of popularity during the time of partition when the Punjabis moved to India and this dish was introduced to the locals by Kundan Lal Gujral, Thakur Das and Kundan Lal Jaggi. Click here to read more about dal makhani.
Evolution of Dal Makhani
It has changed a lot in different parts of the Indian subcontinent and it is different from what it used to be way back. It is traditionally cooked in a large vessel overnight. The lentils used in this recipe are mainly urad dal and rajma. Also known as whole black lentils and red kidney beans with some butter and cream. Some people end up using yoghurt, milk and various other dairy products to give the richness. Although it can be made without a dairy product as well and still turns out really delicious.
Homemade Dal Makhani
But over the time people started using pressure cookers for household cooking. Due to that today we all and up using a pressure cooker to boil the dal. Although it was a dish that used to be cooked only in restaurants back then. Eventually, it was prepared at homes as well. And then it was also known as Maa Di Dal. Another name for this dish, not so popular but yet natively used only in the sub-region of Punjab.
Now today in this recipe I will be giving you to the easiest and the quickest method for making the best dal makhani. But again if you want to experience the history and how delicious it can become if you just cook it overnight on slow flame. You are free to do that and please do it on a wood fire, not on a gas range. Without any delay let’s get started with this recipe and its components.
Traditionally we only use two varieties of lentils in this recipe that is urad dal and rajma. Also known as whole black lentils and red kidney beans. Soak the dal overnight with enough water. The next day takes the dal in a pressure cooker with enough water a little salt and few whole spices like cardamom, cinnamon, and clove. Cook it in the pressure cooker until soft and mashy. It should take about 4-5 whistles in the pressure cooker and your dal will be ready.
A lot of people miss out on the gravy part of this dish. I went to a couple of recipes on the internet for dal makhani and I realised that all these recipes have not clearly explained the base of this recipe. There is a huge amount of difference between the base and the body. The body is obviously provided by the dal but the base is an onion tomato gravy.
So for that, we will start with some mustard oil in a Kadai and then add a few whole spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves. Then we will add an equal amount of onion and tomato with some ginger and garlic. Make sure the amount of Ginger is a little more than garlic because this recipe has a pretty dominant flavour of Ginger. Then cook it until soft and mashy and now it’s time to grind that in the food processor.
It’s very much similar to a makhani gravy or onion tomato masala. But if you look into that it’s neither of them and it’s just a separate base for only and only dal makhani. This gravy will provide you with all the flavours that you observe in dal makhani and without this, this recipe is just another dal and to be very honest you are missing out on a lot of flavours.
So we will be using some cream for this recipe although you can use any dairy product like yoghurt or milk. We always add the cream towards the end. And while we are adding the cream we have to make sure that we continuously stir the dal makhani so that it doesn’t curdle.
Dal makhani is very dark in colour if we don’t add the cream. The cream makes sure that it lightens the colour a bit and also gives a little sweet taste and richness.
Without butter dal makhani doesn’t feel like dal makhani. That is because the little amount of butter that we add towards the end makes a huge difference in the Aroma of dal makhani. Although if you are a big fan of butter you can always add a little more butter to the gravy as well. But I used some mustard oil just to give it that Punjabi twist.
Finishing Dal Makhani
So a lot of you ignore this step very casually but it is more important than you think it is. At this stage, we add all the major ingredients that make dal makhani what it is. So finishing a dal makhani always starts with the addition of the cream. After we add the cream we will still cook it for 5 minutes and then we will add a good amount of butter and some roasted Kasuri methi. Kasuri methi is basically dried fenugreek leaves. Always make sure that you roast it lightly and then crush it and add it.
Now the most important step in finishing dal makhani. Take some juliennes of Ginger and then take around 30 ml of mustard oil and heat it till it smokes. Now add the ginger and deep fry it till golden brown and crispy. Now add that Ginger with the oil to dal makhani and your dal makhani is done.